September 6, 2016

When Your Kid Rolls Off

There are about one million results that appear in searching “when your baby rolls off the bed” on Google, ranging from health articles about how serious a little bump on the head can be, to what danger signs to look for post-fall and how to forgive yourself from the aching guilt afterwards.

In one group chat thread, there are almost 500 responses to a mom who posted about her child rolling off the bed – most of them with absolute sympathy and encouragement. “Don’t beat yourself up. It’s tough to try and do all that moms do,” one mom’s comment read with 70 “likes.” “just know that it happens and thankfully your baby (and mine!) are ok,” another mom empathized.

Clearly, there is a significant segment of our population who has experience with an incident like this – most of them reporting children (and parents) who completely freaked out, survived and went on to lead normal, happy lives.


The truth is that even the most careful parents are dealing with little ones kicking their legs, flailing their arms, rolling their bodies and, in the blink of an eye, advancing to an until-now-unprecedented mobile stage of infancy and crawling right off a ledge – all of which catch moms and dads completely by surprise.

Still, experiencing the terror, fear and guilt when an unattended child rolls off the bed, changing table or couch is almost a rite of passage for parents. Accidents happen and none of us are perfect.

But in case you find your baby on the floor after rolling off a higher surface, here are some tips for getting through:

  1. First aid. However small the fall, you will probably need to check for injuries. If your baby is crying from the fall, it might be just a matter of settling them down, but apply cold compress and first aid to any bumps or bruises resulting from the fall. Check to make sure your child hasn’t broken any bones or suffered any  head injury. If you’re not sure, call your doctor – that’s what they’re there for.
  2. Treat the “goose eggs.” If you’re lucky, your child will walk (or crawl) away from the fall with just a bump on the head, or a “goose egg,” which is fairly common. Those bumps can look really scary as swelling occurs, but a cold compress on the bump can help ease the discomfort. We like these reusable animal shaped cold packs for young children who may not like the feeling of a hard pack of ice.
  3. Prevent further falls. Practicing fall prevention in the future by never leaving a child unattended can help you avoid the pain of a bump on the noggin for your child, as well as a broken heart as a parent. Here are some ideas to get you started:

The reason parents feel so shame-stricken after their kiddo takes a tumble is because usually, it could have been prevented. Acting fast and watching your little one can drastically reduce the risk of a fall. At the same time, those bumps and bruises will add character and, over time, serve as mementos of a childhood well-lived.As one commenter posted, “Well Moms (and Dads like ME) I guess in a nutshell it’s safe to say it can happen to ANYONE, but babies are very tough… Parents, just know you are not perfect, and unless you want to have your baby feeling like he/she is in a cage, you have to let them explore… and realize that when they get bumps and scratches it’s just a part of growing up.”

Has your child ever rolled off the bed? What did you do? What do you think you would do if you found your baby on the floor after rolling off a bed, couch, highchair, crib or countertop? Tell us in our one-question emoji poll!

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